One title that is often forgotten by WWE fans is the Light Heavyweight Championship. From 1997 through 2001, the WWE's top cruiserweights put on fantastic matches with the title on the line, and now would be the perfect time to resurrect that belt after an 11-year hiatus.
WWE.com is currently running a story about the lineage of the Light Heavyweight Championship, and while such stories on the WWE's website never lead to anything from a storyline perspective, it got me thinking about the feasibility of such a title in the current landscape.
Although the Light Heavyweight Championship never gained the same acclaim as WCW's Cruiserweight Championship, it introduced many new and exciting wrestlers to WWE fans and added a style of wrestling that complemented the all-out brawling that we often saw during the Attitude Era.
Truth be told, the Light Heavyweight Championship was probably the most stable title of its time as it featured three reigns of over 300 days, including Gillberg's incredible 453-day run with the belt. It may not have received as much storyline development as some of the bigger titles, but the focus was on wrestling and that wasn't a bad thing.
The WWE already has difficulty keeping mid-card titles like the Intercontinental Championship and United States Championship relevant, so adding another belt to the mix might seem irresponsible on the surface. At the same time, though, there are tons of talented guys on the roster who aren't utilized now, but could receive a push in the Light Heavyweight division.
Sin Cara, Tyson Kidd, Justin Gabriel, Rey Mysterio, Hunico, Evan Bourne, Yoshi Tatsu, Trent Barreta, El Local (Ricardo Rodriguez) and others could most definitely generate interest in such a division and it wouldn't take up too much of WWE's precious airtime. The amount of mic time would be negligible because all the fans want are some great, high-flying matches.
Rather than putting the aforementioned wrestlers in squash matches or meaningless tag-team matches against the likes of 3MB, they should be given the opportunity to shine. It could lead to exciting multi-man matches as well as high-energy bouts that would kick off every pay-per-view with a bang.
The WWE may be more about entertainment than wrestling these days, but there are still plenty of fans who find entertainment in well-wrestled matches. Most of the cruiserweights I named are held back by a lack of mic skills or charisma, however, all they would have to do with the Light Heavyweight Championship in the picture is let their in-ring work do the talking.
Should the WWE bring back the Light Heavyweight Championship?
TNA has the X-Division Championship, and while the company has decimated its division and allowed guys like Abyss to win the title, there have been many times over the years when the X-Division matches have stolen the show from them. Provided the WWE doesn't get stupid by adding 300-lb. men to the Light Heavyweight division, it could definitely provide some of the company's best matches.
This is probably more of a pipe dream than anything since the WWE hasn't added a new title in quite some time, but it makes plenty of sense. One of the fans' biggest complaints is that there are talented guys on the roster who aren't used enough. Most of those wrestlers happen to be cruiserweights, so bringing back the Light Heavyweight Championship is the perfect solution.
I always loved WCW's Cruiserweight Championship scene and never respected the Light Heavyweight Championship as much as I should have, but it led to some great things in the WWE. It utilized existing stars and brought new ones into the fold, and it could help do the exact same thing today.
Three-hour Raws have left the WWE with a lot of time to fill, and instead of occupying it with a series of short matches, the Light Heavyweight division could provide exciting matches every week. For the purpose of a better-balanced product, the Light Heavyweight Championship should definitely return to the fold.